Grandma arrested in Sedro-Woolley after defying stay-at-home order

SEDRO-WOOLLEY, Wash. -- A grandma was arrested in Sedro-Woolley after taking a stand against Gov. Jay Inslee's “stay-at-home” order.

For weeks, Kimberley Taxdahl says she’s watched as officials canceled long-standing summer traditions in Sedro-Woolley.

Thursday, she says she didn’t want to standby watching any longer.

“I want the parents in our community to make the decisions to whether or not they should bring their children out to play,” said Taxdahl.

She came down to Riverfront Park and removed caution tape surrounding the playground equipment.

“I’m advocating for our poor kids that have been locked up for fifty days,” she said.

Taxdahl posted to Facebook, telling people to come to the park, offering free cotton candy to the first 50 kids.

She says families started showing up and offering support for her effort.

However, the support is not universal.

“She crossed the line when she enticed children to come down to the park with her trunk full of cotton candy, having them come down, enticing them to come play on the equipment, she was putting them in harm’s way,” said Julia Johnson.

Johnson is the mayor of Sedro-Woolley. She says she supports the right to protest, but not when it endangers others.

Johnson says if the city had its way, police would not have gotten involved.

“We asked her to leave, she said she didn’t want to leave, she wanted to be arrested. We didn’t want to do that. It wasn’t a situation like that,” said Johnson.

Taxdahl says she’s never been arrested before.

“They’re giving a paper arrest to a little granny,” she said.

She says she received arrest papers for breaking a trespassing order for coming back to the park after police warned her, and asked her to leave.

Taxdahl says as a grandmother, she would never look to put kids in harm’s way.

She says her goal is to give choice back to her community.

“I’m hoping citizens start standing up for their own personal freedoms,” she said.

City officials say they will work to have staff on site to remind people that the park is closed, and social distancing is still in effect.